I take the lyrics from the song, Proud, by M People. The sentiment is an important one. Pride is one of those sentiments that we are encouraged to deny. Perhaps not in some cultures, but in the UK, pride is not seen as a positive trait. But pride is what makes people want to do better. Pride is what makes people work hard. Pride is what gives people a boost when they feel down.

I am a big proponent of gratitude as a sentiment. No-one achieves something great, alone. But equally, when you have played your part, you can take pride in the fact that it may not have happened without you.

I have the benefit of knowing some great people working with disadvantaged young people who want to increase their exposure to great role models and to want something more than perhaps they have been led to believe they could have. When they are working with these young people, what they want to do is instil pride (amongst other things). Not arrogance in baseless claims, but being able to articulate pragmatically, the contribution these young people have made in their lives to help others, to make lives better.

When we talk about pride coming before a fall and it being one of the deadly sins, we do many people a disservice, especially children. You probably remember the first time you wanted to show off work that took you a lot of time and effort and was dismissed or laughed at. How did it make you feel when you had something the next time. No doubt, more reluctant to show it off. You would probably only show it off to someone you trusted and knew would be positive. This feeling doesn’t go away, however old we get. In fact, it can get worse. How many people do you know put off doing something quite public because they are scared of how others react?

We owe it to children and each other to support someone feeling proud of something they have done and to be able to show it off in a way they are comfortable, without being pushed off a pedestal. Surround yourself with those people who allow you to shine and sparkle and, once in a while, sing about something you are proud about.

Be proud today and every day. Think about that when you are looking at your to do list. Will you feel proud? And don’t forget to thank those that helped you achieve it.

Some great initiatives that inspired me to write this: The Passion Project; Every child needs a mentor; Bathtub2Boardroom; The Aspire Foundation; Uprising Leadership

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